The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: Browns vs. Chargers Recap

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: Browns vs. Chargers Recap

Nick Pedone
3 years ago
3 min read

It was another rollercoaster for the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in a heartbreaking loss to the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium in California.

The Good: The Offense

I know, I know. The Browns offense had the football with an opportunity to win the ballgame and could not deliver.

But let's be real. Over 500 yards of total offense. No turnovers. 42 points. And a loss.

It was a tremendous, all around game plan to ease quarterback Baker Mayfield in after an ugly outing in Minnesota. Mayfield had over 300 yards with two touchdown passes. 

The running backs and tight ends were awesome.

Even without Jedrick Wills Jr., offensive line coach Bill Callahan deserved a game ball for what he did on Sunday. 

The offense was not the reason the Browns lost in Los Angeles.

The Bad: The Defense

What more needs to be said here?

Through five games, the Browns defense has looked stellar against two bad teams: the Bears and the Vikings. When big tests arise, they fade to nothing.

It was so bad, that they literally had to drag Austin Ekeler into the end zone at the end of the game just to give Mayfield and the offense another opportunity at life.

There's some real question marks with this unit and their scheme under defensive coordinator Joe Woods. 

One blown coverage in a game in an anomaly, so when it happens three times in a game, you have to start looking at the man with the headset and play sheet. The inability for this defense to get off the field on third (and now fourth) downs has been maddening all season long and it showed its ugly face in this game.

A lot of the aforementioned questions can be solved by redeeming health.

The Browns were literally running a combination of undrafted AJ Green, M.J. Stewart, and Greedy Williams in the secondary once Denzel Ward was ruled out with a neck injury.

While it's a completely revamped defensive unit, that means nothing if the players can't be healthy and on the field at the same time.

The Ugly: Kevin Stefanski

It really felt as if Brandon Staley out-coached Kevin Stefanski on Sunday for a myriad of reasons. The honeymoon stage for the NFL's Coach of the Year is over.

When Stefanski gets ahead by two scores, it seems as if the playbook shrinks. Everything is very conservative with a lot of punts. It's happened several times now.

Stefanski's play calling down the stretch was questionable. He has expressed extreme regret and remorse for the draw play on third and long.

"I'm sick about it," Stefanski said when he met with the media on Monday.

In the final three minutes of the game, Stefanski seemed uncharacteristically rattled by the moment. The plays were coming in late. Mayfield looked confused. On a designed spike, Beckham Jr. was beginning a new route as the nose of the football drove into the dirt.

The Odell Beckham Jr. stuff remains a mystery.

There's no two ways about it, the clock is ticking on Beckham and Mayfield's time together. It's maddening how out of sync they are.

The drop was inexcusable, and it was Mayfield's lone incompletion at that point in the game. Then, they completely abandoned Beckham.

For a guy that makes almost $15 million this season, and the Browns were driving to score a touchdown to win the game, it's insanity that a player of Beckham's magnitude could not be better utilized. Like I said, clock is ticking.

Onto Arizona.

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